the root of authenticity

It’s interesting, how the meanings of words shift over time…

What once was, no longer is, simply because of usage.

As I prepare (again but newly) for another workshop on Authentic Voice, I wander deep into the etymology of the word… Authentic… This is what I find:

“…one acting on one’s own authority… self, doer, being… to accomplish, achieve…”

Putting this together with more findings, I come to:

the original being that does… the original doer… entirely from the original source…

There is more action implied in the etymology of the word, than our modern understanding, which is true or genuine.

Let’s go with what the word was created to intend.

So what it is to be authentic? To speak with your authentic voice? Or, as Ulysses from Shakespeare’s Troilus & Cressida passionately speaks (of the discord that results when one does not) “…stand in authentic placeeach thing meets in mere oppugnancy…”

(oppugnancy… meaning opposition, conflict, contention - a word that never quite took in our history but I’m going to make an effort to use it at least once a week!)

Let's begin with the voice. This definition implies there can never be a threat to your authentic voice, but by you – as no one can step into your exact space of being.

If it’s not possible for your authentic voice to ever be lost, or for another to suppress it, what would cause your voice to be in-authentic?

Habits that corrode the original structure of the body; not speaking from your own mind & heart as it pieces the bits of living together; allowing your spirit to be smaller than it is; emotional imbalance (which would be anything other than joy).

And then Ulysses' proposal? That actual conflict happens when one is not standing in this place of authenticity? Well, it implies that tension is less from disagreement, than from speaking or acting from borrowed "truths".  Real conflict happens when there is lack of authenticity... because diversity then, becomes redundant - there cannot be sameness, only harmony. A kaleidoscope of voices which together create something larger... We see this in nature all the time. There is no exact repetition in cellular structure or shape or purpose... and of course, we are also natural beings. 

Which brings us to... what exactly? 

It brings us back to your body, your mind, your spirit, your emotions... Of course we affect one another, resonating waves out into space with every word we speak and action we take, but the source of these words and actions...? They only can come from you.